Validation of the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire: an online version

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Abstract

Background:

Internet-based interventions can facilitate an anonymous environment for the management of eating disorders and there is a need for online assessment tools to be readily available. The present study aimed to validate an online version of the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and to compare the goodness-of-fit of five models of EDE-Q data, using a sample of university students in Hong Kong.

Methods:

The EDE-Q data were collected online from 310 Hong Kong university students. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to compare the validity of the original four-factor EDE-Q with that of the three-factor, two-factor, one-factor and brief one-factor models. The superior model was further examined for scale reliability, convergent validity and construct validity using contrast-group comparisons.

Results:

The brief one-factor model consisting of eight Weight and Shape Concern items was the only model to provide an acceptable fit to the data. Estimations of internal consistency and scale validity were conducted using contrast-group comparisons and convergent validity, with satisfactory results.

Conclusions:

The brief one-factor model was the only one among the alternate models that provided good fit to the data. The brief model is promising for use in research and has good practical application because the model was satisfactorily tested in terms of internal consistency, ability to discriminate between genders, and good association with other measures of similar constructs. By validating an online version of the EDE-Q using a university sample with a cultural background different from Western culture, the present study complements findings from previous research on the EDE-Q.

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